“Actor-Networks, Conservation Treaties, and International Environmental History”

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De Bont, Raf, and Simone Schleper. “Actor-Networks, Conservation Treaties, and International Environmental History.” In The Routledge Handbook of Environmental History, edited by Emily O’Gorman, William San Martín, Mark Carey, and Sandra Swart, 156–70. London: Routledge, 2023.

In this chapter, actor-network theory (ANT) is used to argue that making conventions, and making conventions work, does not just involve the mobilisation of humans and their institutions, but also of non-human organisms and things. After introducing the methodological outlines of ANT, the chapter illustrates its potential for the study of international treaties by exploring two cases: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds Agreement (AEWA). What treaty texts do relies on varied, ever-changing, and often unstable networks, including a multitude of human and non-human actors such as tracing technologies and animals. The intent of this chapter is to show that the actor-network approach is particularly suited for research in environmental history with its long-standing interest in more-than-human agency. (Source: Routledge)

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